Many folks who are looking to convert their bikes into e-bikes are under the belief that rear wheel conversions are the best method for converting their bicycles to electric. This is a common false perception. They are surprised to hear that front wheel conversions are the most convenient method to go electric for bicycles. This is because we offer a 250 Watt motor that keeps your bike within its designed limits without exceeding frame stress and safety standards. This perception of rear wheel necessities often comes from high power electric bike kits designed to convert your bicycle into a fast machine. We do offer high power conversions with our 500 Watt E-Bike Kits available here, but they are not our bread and butter focus and may not be a suitable conversion for most of our customers. Our 500 Watt kits are available in both front and rear conversions, but because they are less than 750 Watts, we still recommend front wheel conversions for ease of install and even best performance.
Our 250 Series Kits are primarily offered as a front wheel conversion kit, but over the past year we have had many people interested in converting recumbent trikes, folding bicycles, or other special projects that require a rear wheel conversion. For example, a tadpole trike (shown below) can only be converted using a rear wheel kit. This trike was easily converted to electric using a LEED 250 Series rear wheel conversion kit.
With the growing demand, we are pleased to announce that we are offering rear wheel conversion kits available as an upgrade with all our kits. Rear wheel conversions are designed to work with your freewheel, derailleur, and chain as seen below.
At time of checkout you will be asked if you want a rear wheel conversion on our websites. Just check “Yes” if you wish for us to send you a rear wheel kit when you are asked at checkout if you would like a rear wheel kit. Check out one of our customer’s 20″ folding bicycle that uses a rear wheel conversion kit.
Recumbent trikes are becoming more and more popular. They are exciting to ride particularly with the extra power offered by the 250 Series Kit and offer incredible torque because of the smaller rear wheel. Additionally, many special projects may require a rear wheel kit, so we have provided the below information to assist you with understanding what is needed for a rear wheel conversion. Additionally, rear wheel conversions involve a few more moving parts such as a derailleur, chain, freewheel and cogs. The requirements for a smooth transition are listed below. If you are handy with bikes and have the tools, this will be easy for you. If not, we recommend that you take the kit to your local bike shop when it arrives and have a mechanic install the kit for you.
1. The measurement requirement for the rear bracket is 135mm or 5.3in. This allows most bicycles and trikes to accept our rear wheel 8FUN motor hub.
The 8FUN rear planetary motor also allows for you to use a 6 or 7 speed freewheel on your rear wheel. Unlike many options available out there, the LEED rear wheel kit does not require an extensive installation and may allow for most bikes or trikes to accept this conversion.
2. You will need either a 6 or 7 speed freewheel.
3. If your bike or trike uses an 8 or 9 speed freewheel, you will need to replace it with a 6 or 7 speed cog when you install the rear wheel motor. This may require a new derailleur or an adjustment to your derailer. Your local bike shop will be able to assist with this.
4. If your bicycle already has a 6 or 7 speed freewheel, then you will just transfer this over to the 8FUN motor, but if you have a Shimano freewheel, you will most likely need an FR5 or other chain wheel remover for other brands. See Park Tools blog post regarding matching chain wheel removers to the appropriate brand here.
If you do not have a chain wheel remover, you can purchase one online or at your local bike shop. They cost around $10. Our recommendation is to have your local bike shop perform the conversion for you. But if you choose to do it, simply remove the freewheel cassette from your old wheel and put it on the LEED rear motor hub just as you would a regular bicycle hub. The fitting is not any different. Here is an instructional video from RJ the Bike Guy on how to remove your freewheel.
You may need to make an additional adjustment if you have a non standard shifting system, but the adjustment is often quick and easy for bicycle mechanics to perform if you are unfamiliar with tuning your shifters. Note that a rear wheel conversion is permanent once the freewheel is on the motor. Please feel free to contact us anytime. Contact information is available on the right sidebar of this page. Thank you and ride safe!
— MIT Edgerton Center (@MITEdgerton) March 10, 2015
For a detailed removal guide visit Park Tool’s freewheel removal blog post here.